Is that a Fact?
Learn to distinguish between facts and assumptions and develop the skills you need to make good decisions in life.
About the Activity
Sometimes when we're in certain situations, we do things because we know the facts. Other times, we do things because we make an assumption or a guess. As we grow up, it’s important to learn how to distinguish between the two, and use the information you have to make better decisions.
A fact is reality or truth. An assumption is something we think is true, but when we look at the facts, it is not always correct. In this activity, you’ll learn to tell the difference between a fact and an assumption—and challenge some common assumptions about teen tobacco, alcohol, and drug use.
This activity is part of our 4-H Health Rocks!® program. See the rest of the activities here.
Topic: Healthy Living
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
New Interactive Activities!
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- Start by completing the first page of the “Fact or Assumption” handout. These statements are similar to ones you likely deal with on a regular basis.
Review the answers you chose. As you can see, many of our assumptions are rooted in beliefs, rather than verifiable facts.
- Now, let's look at facts vs. assumptions when it comes to tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. Complete the second page of the handout, and review the answers to see how many of your answers were correct.
- Lastly, review the last page of the handout. While facts are true and can be proven, many people do not figure things out using facts. Instead, they make assumptions, make a guess, or imagine the truth, because it is easier than finding the facts.
It's especially important to know the facts when it comes to smoking and drug use. It can be really easy to assume that smoking or doing drugs won't impact your health because you see other kids who do it, and they look visibly healthy to you. That would be an assumption - an incorrect assumption - not a fact.
As you review the data, you’ll find that even if it seems like lots of kids are smoking or doing drugs, it's likely they aren't. Studies show that kids tend to overestimate exactly how many of their peers are doing these things.
- On a blank sheet of paper, write about what you learned, and how it will help you make future decisions related to drug, tobacco, and alcohol use.
Bonus questions to help you navigate decision-making:
- Now that you know the real numbers about tobacco, alcohol, and drug use among your peers, how does it change your perspective?
- Why is it important to find the facts, instead of making decisions based on what other people think?
- Would it be harder or easier to refuse tobacco, alcohol, and drugs if your friends were using them?
- Do most people your age use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs? Why do you think they stay away from these substances?
- Knowing what you know now, what would you do if your friend said that everyone smokes? Drinks? Vapes?
Investigate and Explore
This lesson is focused on tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. But it’s important to realize that you have a lot to lose by engaging in risky behaviors. When you are focused on future goals and you have developed life skills and good decision-making abilities, you will be less likely to sabotage your health and future.
Now, take your knowledge to “Family Corner” and “Community Corner.”
Family Corner: Share what you learned about tobacco, alcohol, and drug use with your family. Were they surprised by the numbers?
Community Corner: Talk to your friends about what you learned about tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. Do the facts change their perspective?
In many jobs it is important to be able to tell the difference between assumptions and facts. For example, scientists use these skills every day in order to find out if a hypothesis (an educated guess) is actually true, or not. Do you like discovering facts? If so, you may have a knack for research. To learn more about careers in science, you can explore other Clover activities and get started.
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